May 25, 2024

Skippylongstocking kicks clear in Oaklawn Handicap

Skippylongstocking drew clear in the Oaklawn 'Cap (Photo by Coady Media)

Following a convincing win in the Challenger (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs, Skippylongstocking made it look easy in Saturday’s $1.25 million Oaklawn H. (G2), registering his sixth overall stakes win with a two-length decision. Jose Ortiz was up on the five-year-old horse for Saffie Joseph Jr., and Skippylongstocking completed 1 1/8 miles in 1:49 as the 2.80-1 favorite.

Breaking from post 10 among 11 runners, Skippylongstocking tracked longshot stablemate County Final in second to midway on the far turn, advancing to take a widening lead into the stretch and rolling home unopposed.

Daniel Alonso campaigns the Kentucky-bred son of Exaggerator, and Skippylongstocking has now earned more than $2.2 million from a 23-8-2-4 career record.

Highland Falls, the 3.80-1 second choice, rallied from just off the pace for second, three lengths clear of late-running Red Route One in third at 3.90-1. Next came 4-1 fourth choice Reincarnate, and Magic Tap, Last Samurai, Octane, County Final, Instant Coffee, Guntown, and Double Crown completed the order of finish.

Skippylongstocking was bred by Calumet Farm and hails from War Chant mare Twinkling, who is also the dam of stakes winners Moonlite Strike and Olivia Twist. He was purchased for $37,000 as a 2021 OBS April two-year-old.

Third in the 2022 Wood Memorial (G2), Skippylongstocking finished third in the Belmont (G1) two starts later and followed with his initial stakes victory, the West Virginia Derby (G3). He captured the Charles Town Classic (G2) and Challenger last year, concluding his four-year-old season with a third in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).

Nothing went right for him when opening 2024 in the Pegasus World Cup (G1), being eased after acting rankly on the first turn, but Skippylongstocking has rebounded stylishly with decisive graded stakes wins in his last two outings.